About this Blog

So, what's it all about, anyway?

Islam is a dangerous and wicked ideology. At the moment it's the greatest direct threat to human life and freedom on the planet. It needs to be resisted. There are many that have already found themselves involved in the fight for one reason or another--Charlie Hebdo is the most famous example--and also many people that are threatened, have suffered or continue to suffer at the hands of it. Three examples are: Jews everywhere, most noticeably in France and Western Europe, but also of course in Israel, Christians (or Muslims who desire to be Christians) in Muslim countries, and the hundreds of millions of Muslim women in Muslim countries and communities who are victims of a brutal and often grotesquely violent system of suppression and control. One of the purposes of this blog is to honor and support them (in my own very small way and following the many similar blogs and media efforts that have already been established).

But what happened at Charlie Hebdo was a catalyst, certainly. It made me angry and I felt I had to do something (again, in my own imperfect and small way, of course).  

Who is Mahound?

"Mahound" is a so-called derogatory name for the prophet Muhammad that was used in Europe from the Middle Ages through the 19th century. I say "so-called" because during that period Islam and Mohammad were thought of quite negatively anyway by most people In Europe. Thus, I suspect it was somewhat similar to referring to, say, "Adolf". It is true, however, that Mahound would take on a life of his own, so to speak, as a sort of demon or devil in the literature of the time  (though contrary to some claims, it's unclear to me that any educated sources actually thought Muslims worshipped him). G.K. Chesterton resurrected the name for his 1937 poem Lepanto. And most famously, Salmon Rushdie used it to refer to the prophet in his 1988 novel The Satanic Verses. It was part of what got him those death threats.

Why his Paradise?

It comes from the lines of the Chesterton Poem, imaginatively picturing Mahound as a sort of god, summoning demons and monsters to aid the Ottoman navies from his "paradise":

Mahound is in his paradise above the evening star...
He moves a mighty turban on the timeless houri’s knees,
His turban that is woven of the sunset and the seas.
He shakes the peacock gardens as he rises from his ease,
And he strides among the tree-tops and is taller than the trees,
And his voice through all the garden is a thunder sent to bring
Black Azrael and Ariel and Ammon on the wing.
Giants and the Genii,Multiplex of wing and eye,
Whose strong obedience broke the sky
When Solomon was king.

(See the link to the full text of Chesterton's Lepanto along the top of the blog.)

Wasn't the blog originally called, "My Mahound Cousin"?

Yes. That name was based on a line from a 17th century play by Beaumont and Fletcher.  I changed the title after the first post. Upon reflection I thought the original name sounded too much like a 1980's sitcom.

What is the Caliphate?

It is the religious and political regime that--based on Muslim texts and history--Islam wants to impose, eventually, on the entire world. They almost made it (or at least almost made it in the West, which would have been a terrific start) during a number of periods in history. Unfortunately, we may be entering another one of those periods.

Aren't there better ways to make the case than by mocking?

There are other ways. This blog will include them. But at this stage, mocking is important. If they threaten to shoot you for it, give it back to them even louder--while defensively gripping your gun if you have one, of course.

What's the link with anti-semitism?

As a belief system (or more properly just a belief) anti-semitism has been one of the most pervasive, dangerous and stubbornly persistent scourges in all of human history. At one point or another it has infected virtually every religious and political group--the right, the left, Protestants, Catholics, Marxists. Just when it seems you've eliminated it somewhere it pops up somewhere else. But it has always found friendly harbor in Islam. And that is of course true now more than ever. Right now, the Jewish community in France is literally being driven out, as a result of the worst eruption of anti-Jewish hate and violence in Western Europe since World War Two. This is happening not just because of a handful of terrorists but because of the hate emanating from probable majorities in European Muslim communities, aided by the latent anti-semitism and indifference that still exists among so many others in Europe. What's happening needs to be noted, forcefully and often.

What is Traditional Catholicism?

Traditional or Traditionalist Catholics essentially reject much of what has happened to the Catholic church in the last fifty years. Though, in a way analogous to similar movements, they would say that the institution moved away from them rather than the other way round. Although I am a relatively recent convert to the Catholic faith (from, in practice, having no religion) I would define myself as a Traditionalist. My main purpose in the context of the blog, is not to evangelize but to explore issues surrounding Catholicism that are of interest to me. Indeed, I'm fully aware that many if not most of my allies and friends on the issue of Islam are atheists or non-Catholics. That's fine with me, though of course I wish more Catholics would come along.

What is the link between Traditional Catholicism and the larger issue of opposition to Islam?

Historically, the Catholic Church led the defense against Islamic aggression. In a sense it had to, as it was the only institution capable of uniting otherwise disparate and squabbling European territories and states. The chief example, of course is the Crusades. The modern church and certainly Pope Francis, has in a large sense repudiated that history, calling the Crusades mere "religious wars" that the previous church itself (and its popes) bore much of the blame for. Traditionalist Catholics reject this.

Complicating the link to the issues treated by this blog, some Traditionalist Catholics have been accused of anti-semitism (not always unjustly, in my view).

Add to that the recent comments by some (though not all) Traditionalists that seem to be more against Charlie Hebdo and offending religion in general than in favor of resisting Islam, and you get an interesting, though highly annoying (in my view) stew of competing and contrasting views on the overall issue of the current Islamic threat.

My aim is not to criticize or offend my Traditionalist Catholic brothers and sisters (though I fear I have already done so in a few cases) nor to elevate myself above them in any way. I would happy to be as good a Catholic as the bottom 10% of them. But these issues need to be explored and discussed.

Don't you have another blog? Why create a second one? Why not put this stuff there?

The other blog is devoted to gaming, specifically Original Dungeons & Dragons and related themes, including the discussion and promotion of a knock-off game that I wrote. Though I have occasionally branched into quasi-political commentary when I felt that it was game related (and have included a few Christian-oriented "Christmas" posts, and so on), I wanted to keep the original blog free of purely "political" material.

But you're posting the "political" material on your Google Plus feed?

For now, that's true, and I've already alienated a few gaming people. And of course the link with my gaming has been made by others: "Enjoy the 3 dollars in sales your shitty retroclone will make. Uncircled." More unfortunate from my point of view is that I appear to have alienated a few Catholic friends, perhaps by forcefully siding with the Charlie Hebdo atheists and quasi-favorably citing the Christian-hating Bill Maher. I don't like that at all, and am not enjoying it in any way shape or form. So, I am evaluating how to "promote" the blog, given the pros and cons of the various alternatives. For the moment, the best way to avoid any sightings of the Mahound Paradise links would be to "uncircle" me. There will be no hard feelings for that, in and of itself. I am sincere in that.

Then again, I noticed that the guy who just called me (in the public comments section of the link to my most recent post) a "c*nt", "a**hole", promoter of "Western sh*t" as well as someone who thinks the world is or was my oyster (if only) has left me in his circles. Obviously he likes to be exposed to a diversity of viewpoints.

Are you afraid for your life?

Given recent events, anyone who strongly opposes Islam or mocks it with cartoons of Muhammad and such, should take that sort of possibility seriously. But there are many in this fight. And the ranks are growing. Couple that with the fact that I am not very well-known in this and doubt I ever will be, and I would rate the odds as about the same as being run over by a Peapod truck. God grant they stay that way.

What is that cartoon on the masthead? It's not by Jack Chick, is it?

No, but good call. It does have that slightly retro-cheesy quality. Actually the cartoon is part of a comic-book-like series on the life of Muhammad, drawn by an anonymous artist and put up on an Indonesian blog in 2008. It prompted efforts by the Indonesian government and police to find and punish the artist along with the usual death threats from various official Muslim religious sources. It was soon taken down but then briefly put up again (this time translated into English) on a non-Indonesian blog by someone named "CooperKid", before being taken down again. Fortunately, the images were saved by another anonymous blogger. The fate of the original artist/original blogger/"CopperKid" is unknown. I hope he or they are comfortably in hiding. God bless all of those who were involved.

On the topic of Jack Chick, though, as one might expect, he put together some panels on Islam. They're actually pretty good...at least if you can get past the part where he claims that the Muslim religion was actually created by the Catholic Church as part of a conspiracy to take over the world.

(The cartoon and background to all of this are taken from the incredibly useful Muhammad Image Archive, which I link to on the the right side of the blog.)

What is the origin of your opposition to Islam?

Short answer: I read the Koran.
Slightly longer answer: It stems from following contemporary events, obviously, and then looking at the history. But if I had to pick one thing it would be actually reading the Koran.

Thank you for your reasoned and helpful answers, you fascist pig.

No problem. Thanks for not shooting me.